Followers

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Sepia Saturday 151; Early Telecommunication;

Brisbane magneto telephone exchange  1910
The world’s first phone call;
On 10 March 1876, Bell successfully transmitted the first words ever uttered on a telephone. He said, ‘Mr. Watson, come here, I want you.’ Bell’s assistant, Thomas A Watson, was at the lower end of the wire, in the basement. He dropped the receiver and rushed up the three flights of stairs to inform Bell of the good news: ‘I can hear you! I can hear the words!’

The telephone arrives in Australia
Australian inventors were keen to experiment with Bell’s new device.

One of the country’s most versatile innovators was Henry Sutton (1856–1912) of Ballarat, Victoria. By late 1877 Sutton had developed numerous telephonic devices, and 16 of his models were later patented overseas. His work was acknowledged by Alexander Bell during his visit to Australia in 1910.

The first telephone service in Australia is believed to have run on 2 January 1878. It operated between hardware supplier McLean Bros & Rigg in Elizabeth Street, Melbourne, and their Spencer Street Depot, over a kilometer away.




Wahroonga telephone exchange 1939


As of 1861 there were 110 telegraph stations across the eastern colonies.

By 1867 there were 1,676 miles of line within Victoria, handling 122,138 messages (compared to around 7.92 million in the US and 5.78 million in the UK that year).

Reuters, in competition with local news agencies, operated in Australia from 1860 onwards. 
The cost per word for a message from London was at that time equivalent to the average weekly wage.

A link between Adelaide and Perth was established in 1875, with the 2,900 kilometer Adelaide to Port Darwin link (the Overland Telegraph Line or OTL) in 1872 costing £300,000. 


First telephone service launched, connecting Melbourne and South Melbourne offices of Robinson Brothers;


1880 First telephone exchange opened in Melbourne, shortly before the hanging of Ned Kelly

1882 First public telephone exchange based in Sydney, making telephone use and ownership available to the public in NSW - barely six years after Alexander Graham Bell patented his telephone

1884 Around 7,757 telephone calls handled through the year

1901 The Federation of the Commonwealth of Australia established the Postmaster-General's department to look after all communication networks in the nation

1935 Australia ranked seventh in the world for percentage of telephones. 





Now you can instantly communicate with Sepia Saturday and it won't cost you your weekly wage.
















18 comments:

  1. Absolutely- communicating has never been so good. What a wonderful outline- it is very interesting where it all began and where it finished- for now! One amazing thing- is that with our cell phones we can ring someone up in England and not pay an extra penny for it, by using our cell phone! What a world!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Karen, that's right, it was never as cheap as it is now. It was so expensive to ring overseas. The possibilities with the phones, we can access e-mails, facebook, make photos; technology is amazing and so easy. I know many of my generation they do not dare to use a computer. I have animated many of my friends to take the plunge and not stay back and ignorant of new technology.

      Delete
  2. It seems like photos of switchboards and operators look similar wherever and whenever they were made.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Postcardy, that's what I thought. The girls must have been very proud to be switchboard operators, it was special, a new world was opening up for them.

      Delete
  3. What a great collection of fascinating facts and fine old images. Together they made a fabulous Sepia Saturday post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alan, thank you, good to see you back.

      Delete
  4. I admire these switchboard operator's ability to put the plug in the right connection every time! I wish I could see a demo of how they were doing that.
    With the astronomical cost per word Reuters must have been famous for short news...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I remember, when I went to school we visited once a switchboard operation, it was quite hectic. Yes you are right not many might have been able to afford it.

      Delete
  5. I hadn't realised that Australia got a telephone service so early. Very interesting facts an historical photos.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Isn't it amazing how far communication has advanced? My husband was on a business trip to Denmark this past week, and I was able to commicate with him by Skype every day! Truly remarkable advances in technology.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love the statistic of 7000+ calls in a year. I'm pretty sure there are more than that per second today.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wendy, yes, with all probability there are a FEW more now!!

      Delete
  8. Love your 1910 photograph. Though I imagine I would be all fingers and thumbs at those stern, upright supervisors hanging over me!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Sue, I remember typing pools there were always supervisors hanging over the girls their eyes everywhere. Luckily I have never worked in one!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Looking at those statistics,
    the one from 1884 would probably read now as 7757 calls/nanosecond.
    :)~
    HUGZ

    ReplyDelete
  11. Ticklebear, I wonder where it is going next?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I suspect an implant behind the ear...

      Delete